Congo’s Local Cinema Makes History

July 20, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. milestone (n.) [mahyl-stohn] – an important event (in one’s life or in a project)
Example:   The launching of Jenny’s song album is a milestone in her career as a singer.

2. make history  (idiom) [meyk] [his-tuh-ree, his-tree] –  to do something important enough to be part of history
Example: Neil Armstrong made history in 1969 when Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

3. revival(n.) [ri-vahy-vuhl] – the act of becoming active and popular again
Example: His native artworks brought a revival of the community’s culture.

4. plot (n.) [plot] – the story or sequence of events in a work such as a novel, play, or movie
Example: A plot that involves a lot of exciting events shows the great imagination of the writer.

5. trauma (n.) [trou-muh, traw-]  – extreme shock or fear which may last for a long time
Example: The flash flood caused trauma to all the residents.

Read the text below.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has made a milestone in the movie industry by releasing its first ever locally produced film in more than 20 years.

For more than two decades, movie-making in DRC has been shut down because of the conflict in the region.

The film, entitled “Viva Riva,” made history as it was shown in the United States and other countries.  Because of this breakthrough, producers of the movie hope for a revival of the local African cinema.

The movie tells the story of a gangster named Riva, who earns a living by selling illegal gasoline in the streets of Kinshasa, Congo’s capital, where the film was shot. Djo Munga, writer and director, found inspiration for the story’s plot from the traders of the Congo and Angola borders who do everything they can to survive in a country facing a lot of economic problems.

The movie earned several awards from Berlin and Toronto film festivals, and even won  MTV’s Best African Movie Award.  The main actor, Hoji Fortuna, also got the Best Supporting Actor Award for his role.

According to him, Viva Riva was a chance for him to return to his homeland after moving to other countries to forget the trauma caused by the civil war. For him, returning to Africa was a very special experience.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A 

·         Are there a lot of local movies being produced in your country?
·         What are the usual types of movies produced by local movie producers?

Discussion B

·         What do you think local films are for?
·         Do people in your country support local films?

July 20, 2011